At 6:30 am the car thermometer read 56 degrees. Perfect! At 6:45 the West Branch of the Westfield read 58 degrees. More than perfect! I needed this small break and that small break would be on the prettiest trout stream that I've been fishing which is the West Branch of the Westfield.
This river looks like a miniature version of the Deerfield with similar topography, steep hills that seem to run right down to the river but WITHOUT the crazy flow regimes, WITHOUT the rafting, Without the tubing riff raff and without the swimmers. Nothing against swimmers but I thought that's what ponds are for!
I was intent on devoting a few hours to some runs that earlier in the year, during high water, just screamed for a dry fly. Today,at 80 CFS, the flow was perfect. It would be a dry fly morning!
My first stop was the Wright Run which local legend Gary turned me onto. The bushy Elk Hair Caddis (mine are tied with deer hair) took a bow and a brown from the riffles down through the gentle water. One trout came up to inspect the offering and then snubbed me (I take it personally) and then would not rise again. Then I went down to the Old State Bridge and had another trout perform the same act. This is a great spot but I just don't seem to do well in this section.
I met another flyfisher who was leaving who took a giant bow that he had been working over for a few weeks. "Were you nymphing" I asked? "No, got it on a streamer" he replied!! Let's hear it for the retro techniques!!!!
The last spot was the "Hole in the Woods" where I landed a good 16 inch bow and lost another trout to a bad knot! I was on the water at 7am and off by 9:15. I needed that time in a nice place without the crowds. I'm lucky to live close to good water. Actually I may have designed it that way. I couldn't think of living beyond a 40 minute drive from good trout water and I don't!!